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The Boston Globe

Politics

Obama asserts role of the US in Mideast

Cites diplomacy, might, accepts overture by Iran

UNITED NATIONS — President Obama laid down a retooled blueprint Tuesday for America’s role in the strife-torn Middle East, declaring that the United States would use all of its levers of power, including military force, to defend its interests, even as it accepted limits about its ability to influence events in Syria, Iran, and other countries.

In a wide-ranging speech to the General Assembly that played off rapid-fire diplomatic developments but also sought to define what he called a “hard-earned humility” about US engagement after 12 years of war, Obama insisted that the United States still played an “exceptional” role on the world stage. Turning inward, he said, “would create a vacuum of leadership that no other nation is ready to fill.”

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